- IPL 2020 to begin from 9th April 2021 as Mumbai Indians will face Royals Challengers Bangalore
- The first match of the 14th edition of IPL will be played at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, Tamil Nadu at 7:30 PM (IST)
- Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are key with the bat for RCB
On the 9th April, 2021, the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will begin and the first match will be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu at 7:30 PM.
RCB which is led by Indian skipper Virat Kohli, in IPL 2020, reached the knockout stages for the first time since 2016 and this year will be looking to improve on it. Even though RCB have held on to seasoned stars including the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Washington Sundar and Mohammed Siraj, RCB also went big in the mini-auction and got Glenn Maxwell to add some firepower in the middle orders.
RCB also bought New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson for some depth in the bowling department.
On one hand, Virat Kohli is yet to win his maiden IPL trophy, Mumbai Indians have won the title a record five times.
Having said this, there are 3 players in RCB line-up which Mumbai Indian should worry out.
1. Virat Kohli
The India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper comes into IPL 2021 in some good form. Kohli finished the five-match T20 International series against England as the highest run-scorer, with three half-centuries to his name.
The Indian skipper had also hit two half-centuries in the One Day International (ODI) series that followed the T20I series. Kohli is set to open the batting for RCB this season, a role he had taken up in 2016, which was the last time they made the final on IPL.
In IPL 2016, Kohli had hit 4 tons and his team would be hoping that he can rediscover a similar form this year at the top.
In the 15 games last season, Virat Kohli scored 466 runs with an average of 42.36, however, his strike rate was low at 121.35 and now he will be looking to score at a quicker rate this season.
2. AB de Villiers
The South African cricketer AB de Villiers has been Virat Kohli’s partner-in-crime and RCB’s most reliable batsman for several years after their captain, and they will once again be looking at him to show his mettle against what is arguably the best bowling attack in the tournament.
The 37 year old the South African has a good record against Mumbai Indians, including a stunning 133 off 59 deliveries which he scored in the year 2015.
Just last year, de Villiers smashed an unbeaten 55 off just 24 deliveries in the first league meeting between the two teams.
In the 15 games in IPL 2020, Villiers scored 454 runs with a strike rate of 158.74 and an average of 45.40.
3. Yuzvendra Chahal
The leg spinner who hails from Jind, Haryana, has been one of the most prolific bowler for RCB since he joined them in 2014. He was their best bowler last year as well, taking 21 wickets at an average of 19.28.
As RCB is going go to against a monstrous batting order tomorrow which boasts power-hitters such as Kieron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya, Kohli will be looking to Chahal to be his go-to bowler once again and get some wickets.